Ideas


A Day in the Life

Many nature writers have used the idea of writing about a day in the life of a place or animal. The natural progression of the day gives the writing structure. In Sierra Nevada: The Naturalist’s Companion, Verna Johnston tells of spending a day with a friend by a small pool in a mountain stream. She […]

A Haiku Walk

Clark Strand’s wonderful book on writing haiku, Seeds from a Birch Tree, is a wonderful source of ideas for naturewriting. One of my favorites is in his chapter called “Taking a Haiku Walk.” He describes walking in a meditative mind with a notebook for a few minutes each day. As we walk along observing nature […]

A Pet’s Point of View

How does life look from your pet’s point of view? People and animals live in interdependent relationships in American cultures. Pets depend on the humans who depend on them for companionship and livelihood. Choose an animal that you see every day. It could be your pet or an animal in the neighborhood. Keep a daily […]

Poem Starters

Sometimes looking at poems by others can give us ideas for poems of our own. Here are some model poem suggestions and ideas for naturewriting: Thirteen Ways Poem. Read Wallace Stevens’ poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.” Write your own poem considering an animal, a plant, or a place from as many ways […]

Writing and Enjoying Haibun

Many Japanese verse forms have found their way to the West. First came the lyrical three line haiku, and now a close relative, the expressive five line tanka has arrived. Although these verse forms are 1,300 years old, haiku and tanka can express ideas and feelings surprisingly relevant to the way we think and feel […]